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Perry scores twice to lead Ducks past Hurricanes

by Curtis Zupke

ANAHEIM -- There is some debate that the Anaheim Ducks should add a small piece before the NHL Trade Deadline on Wednesday, perhaps a veteran defenseman or a center with size. But judging from their two games since the 2014 Sochi Olympics, what they have is fine.

After grinding out a win against the St. Louis Blues on Friday, Anaheim received two first-period goals from Corey Perry to springboard to a 5-3 win Sunday against the Carolina Hurricanes at Honda Center.

Perry concurred that he likes what is in Anaheim's room, and it doesn't hurt to have a five-game homestand out of the break.

"This is a great group," Perry said. "Everybody in here is on the same page and on the same program. We know what each other roles are, and everybody's going out and executing that.

"It's nice to be home and get your feet under you again and before you get on the road. It's always nice when you're in front of your home fans and playing here. That's why we've had so much success this year."

Andrew Cogliano scored shorthanded (his career-high 19th goal) and Jakob Silfverberg and Francois Beauchemin also scored in Anaheim's final game before the deadline. Goalie Frederik Andersen made 49 saves and improved to 15-3-0, yet could get sent back to the minors because Viktor Fasth completed his conditioning assignment in the American Hockey League and is due to return to the club shortly.

Andersen and Fasth join starter Jonas Hiller and potential star John Gibson on Anaheim's depth chart.

"I'm glad I'm not making the decision," Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau said with a wink.

Boudreau became serious and said of Andersen: "He's proven that he can play in the NHL. There's no doubt. Quite frankly, we're blessed with four really good goalies at this time … it's really good when you've got that many riches in the most important position on the team."

That is the embarrassing depth of Anaheim, which was contrasted by a Carolina road trip that gets worse. The Hurricanes have been outscored 15-7 in the past three games and are on a five-game losing streak dating to before the Olympic break.

The Hurricanes got right wing Alexander Semin back from injury, but lost defenseman Justin Faulk to an upper-body injury. Goalie Cam Ward allowed three goals on Anaheim's first 12 shots and is 0-2 since he came back from injury. Carolina's main highlight came when Andrej Sekera finished an amazing display of puck possession to break the shutout at 15:20 of the second.

Carolina coach Kirk Muller didn't have an update on Faulk, other than saying they'll assess it Monday. The Hurricanes put a season-high 52 shots on goal, 26 in the third, and will continue to try to use those positives.

"We know we're a good team when we get going," Carolina forward Nathan Gerbe said. "We showed it in the third, but we didn’t show it in the first and that’s what hurt us today.

"It was tough. When you go down like that [3-0] early, it's hard to fight back. I thought we did what we could. I'd like to score a bit more on 52 shots, but [Andersen] played well."

Cogliano and Silfverberg opened a 5-0 lead in a second period that showed the enormous gap between the teams. Cogliano slipped a wrist shot five-hole on Ward at 3:31 for his eighth career shorthanded goal. Silfverberg, a healthy scratch Friday despite his silver-medal pedigree, chopped the puck off the back of the net and swiped it in the goal at 8:47, during 4-on-4 play.

Perry's second goal was a wrist shot that beat Ward cleanly on the glove side at 16:26 of the first to help the Ducks take a 3-0 lead into first intermission. Anaheim just finished a long possession in Carolina's end and Perry streaked down the left side.

"I'm sure there's a couple that he'd say he'd like to have back," Muller said of Ward. "[He needs] to get that confidence level up again. It's a Catch-22 because the other guy's [Anton Khudobin] been playing so well that he’s playing a lot of games. You want to get in there and play to get better, but it's hard when you're going against a guy that's playing so well."

Muller said removing Ward was discussed but, "we decided it was a good game for him to just kind of fight through it. I think the guys were willing to kind of keep playing for him there, [so] I just kind of chose to leave him in and get the minutes in and let him fight through it."

Perry got Anaheim started with a tap-in goal off Dustin Penner's deflected shot-pass at 6:39 of the first. Francois Beauchemin felled Carolina defenseman Brett Bellemore with a slap shot to begin the sequence.

Boudreau wasn't angered that the Ducks let Carolina rally late, nor could he find fault with the first half of the game.

"We were as good as we could be," Boudreau said. "It wasn't just Corey scoring the goals. It was the D getting the puck to the forwards, and playing fast and not giving them a chance to get on top of us. I think the last time we played like that was against Ottawa [on Oct.13] when we had 56 shots."

Beauchemin's booming shot hasn't connected much this season, but he scored his second goal at 13:38 of the first on a shot that hit Jiri Tlusty's stick and went under Ward's glove. Beauchemin's other goal came Dec. 31.

Carolina's special teams problems continued when it committed a too-many-men penalty on a power play in the second period. The Hurricanes are scoreless on the power play in nine straight road games (0-for-31). Cogliano's goal was the third shorthanded goal allowed by the Hurricanes in the past three games.

Anaheim center Mathieu Perreault was scratched after he sustained an upper-body injury Friday.

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